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CLASSICAL  July 2006

CLASSICAL July 2006

Subject:

Dika Newlin Makes The List

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Jul 2006 14:21:28 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (58 lines)

One of my teachers...

   Dika Newlin Dies at 82
   By Frank Cadenhead
   MusicalAmerica.com
   July 26, 2006
   
   Composer Dika Newlin, one of the last surviving students of
   Arnold Schoenberg, died July 22 in Richmond, Virginia at the
   age of 82. Author of the 1980 book "Schoenberg Remembered," she
   achieved celebrity status when she partnered with Michael Moore
   to star in his documentary "Dika: Murder City." She composed
   operas, a symphony, a concerto and chamber music, taught for
   over 60 years, translated important works on contemporary music,
   was a sometimes actor in low-budget movies, scored the film "Mark
   of the Devil 666" and wrote about classical music for the Richmond
   Times-Dispatch. Her exploration of pop music in later life earned
   her the title of "octogenarian punk rocker" and "one of (Richmond's)
   most recognizable eccentrics."
   
   Born in Portland, Oregon, she was composing on the piano at the
   age of eight and left home for Los Angeles when only 14. It was
   at UCLA that she studied with Arnold Schoenberg as well as with
   pianists Rudolph Serkin and Arthur Schnabel. Three years later
   she continued her studies at the University of Michigan and
   later, at the age of 22, earned her doctorate from Columbia
   University in New York. She taught for six decades at Virginia
   Commonwealth University, where in her final tenure she was noted
   for her "hands-off" teaching, "the polar opposite of Schoenberg's
   overbearing style," according to Mark Holmberg in the Times-Dispatch
   of Richmond.
   
   The Moore documentary refers to Newlin's song "Murder City,"
   written at a time when Richmond was the "murder capital" of
   America. One reviewer, commenting on the rough quality of the
   film, wrote, "the film's production flaws are easily overlooked
   by the mad genius of Dika Newlin, a woman who presents the facade
   of sincerity and intelligence during conversation, but who turns
   into a raving maniac whenever she steps before a microphone while
   the music plays." Her and Moore's "Murder City" documentary made
   movie critic Phil Hall's "10 Best Films You Never Saw" list. Her
   famously off-key performances in her late punk-music style were
   revered by the locals.
   
   It was Moore and his wife who found her with a broken arm when
   they went to check on her on June 30. She was moved to a care
   facility, where she refused feeding tubes in the final days.
   Moore and a few friends -- she had little family -- were with
   her at the end.
   
   A moving obit by Mark Holmberg is at

   http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD/MGArticle/RTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149189323521

   Her work with Moore and subsequent CDs and DVDs, along with
   samples of her music, can be found at: www.moorevideoandmusic.com.

Karl

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